The last month has felt like I was Alice dropped down the rabbit hole, only instead of chairs and lamps flying past my head it was komodo dragons and rickety boats and volcanoes—oh, and flurry of mojitos. Needless to say, my first month in Indonesia has been a whirlwind.
I haven’t blogged in a month and a half (gasp) because it has been so hectic and Indonesia doesn’t seem to have the functional wifi thing quite mastered yet. But it’s also been nice to take a break from the online world and live entirely, freely in the moment. I’m back in Bali now and wholly enjoying the underappreciated luxuries of hot showers and internet, so here’s an overview of what I’ve been up to:
Planes: 1 (4 hours)
Boats: 9 (approximately 110 hours on board)
Islands: 8 (plus the small random ones we stopped at on the boat trip)
Days I was sick or incapacitated in some way: 31 (because that’s how many days are in the month). Indonesia is slowly trying to kill me.
Ending three months in Thailand would not have been appropriate without one more trip to the infamous Khao San Road. After several buckets of alcohol (because, yes, we literally drink from buckets in Thailand) I was persuaded to eat a scorpion. Not exactly a culinary delight I’d like to repeat, but at least I can check that one off the list. Dave joined me on the last day and we headed to Indonesia together.
My original plan was actually to spend a month volunteering on a sustainable land use project in Ubud, but it turned out to be a flop. While the farm was beautiful and the organization had some interesting projects going on, the director was living on another planet and wanted nothing to do with us. We spent a couple hours a day weeding and planting things, and then headed into town for 2-for-1 mojitos and live music. Not exactly grueling. We also spent our weekend motorbiking to the beach and some beautiful waterfalls.
Gili Trawagan, a place I visited two years ago and loved, has fast devolved into another tourist nightmare. The beaches are crowded with anchored boats, everything is overpriced, and the vibe is hectic. We did manage to catch a stunning sunset on the other, quieter side of the island and still laid on the beach in front of the turquoise waters. We popped over to the neighboring Gili Air for a night and found it to be much more relaxing and with better beaches.
4-Day Komodo Trip
This one is a long story, but we basically lived on an old wooden boat for four days as we traveled from Lombok to Flores to see the Komodo dragons. It’s not something I had ever thought of doing but Dave was hell bent on seeing the dragons and I’m glad he convinced me because—despite the craziness of the trip—it turned out to be our favorite adventure. The boat stopped along the way for snorkeling and swimming at remote beaches, but the key destination was Komodo island to see the dragons. One dragon may or may not have slowly pursued me.
Scuba Diving Komodo
The dive sites surrounding Komodo are said to be some of the best in the world and they did not disappoint. I broke my budget for a dive trip to three sites but it was worth it for the beautiful coral and millions of fish and sea life I saw. If only my little GoPro could do it justice.
Climbing the Rinjani Volcano
After 26 hours of travel on a bus and ferry back to Lombok island, we only had a few days left before the end of Dave’s trip. I asked him what he wanted to do and he said something adventurous (because Komodo dragons apparently weren’t adventurous enough) so we settled on a day hike on a nearby volcano. Five minutes talking to a travel company later, we were somehow roped into a 3-day, 2-night trek up to the rim of the volcano’s crater.
The first day we had an easy hike to some gorgeous waterfalls. Hiking up and down that damn volcano on the second and third days was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. The view was nice, but oh lord never again.
Back to Kuta
We returned to Kuta for Dave to catch his flight and had another couple of rounds at Sky Garden. After a month with Dave and several weeks before that with Leonie, I’m back to traveling solo and it’s definitely an adjustment. But my family will arrive next week to travel with me for three weeks so I’ve not got long to myself. I’m looking forward to some beach time and I even found an aerial studio to take a silks class next week!
Constantly being sick with stomach problems, a cold, or allergic reactions to bugs
Everything being much more expensive than I anticipated and budgeted for
The volunteer job not panning out
Seeing Komodo dragons
Scuba diving in Komodo
Traveling with this guy
It’s already halfway through September–yikes! Don’t know what this month’s update will look like–probably just pool lounging!